I have a weakness for notebooks.
Wire bound, foil trimmed, specialty, leather, bullet journals…love, love, love. I even fell for the snobbery of a moleskine notebook which remains empty to this day because I couldn’t think of anything ‘good enough’ to write in it. Meanwhile, my cheapo composition notebook from Walgreens is a gold mine.
My writer’s notebook is a warehouse of thoughts, ideas and observations. A place to capture tidbits and story morsels. Actually, I like to think of it as an idea catcher.
A repository and rubbish heap
It’s a home for lists, scenes, descriptions, dialogue and worlds. Sometimes the notebook feels like a junkyard, where I’m scavenging pages of rubbish to find that one diamond that stands out. There are tons of ways writers can use notebooks in their creative process.
Things I like to include
- Story ideas
- Story planning: outlines and scenes
- Character ideas
- News and magazines articles
- Journal and gratitude entries
- Lists of names, words, descriptions (physical, clothing, weather, etc)
- Hand lettering and doodles
- Flash fiction
- Ideas for settings and worlds
- Author quotes for inspiration
Other things to include (although I don’t do this)
- Snippets of conversations
Even though I also use Evernote and I have a ‘Writer’s Toolbox’ file on my computer filled with spreadsheets of lists and writerly gems, there’s something about using a ‘low tech’ notebook to capture these elements. Kind of like handwriting a novel I suppose, the satisfaction that comes from creating words on a page.
What about you?
What do you keep in your writer’s notebook?